It will be very important to stretch after the swelling decreases. When that type of injury occurs, your body will lose range of motion in the affected joint very quickly. If optimal range of motion is not restored other injuries can occur. Key muscles to stretch include the calf muscles, the muscles in the front of your thigh (quadriceps), the muscles in the back of your thigh (hamstrings), as well as the muscles in the front and the back of the hips. It is very common for individuals who sprain their ankles to alter their movement patterns to compensate for the injured ankle. This forces other muscles to do more than they are used to doing, causing them to become tight. When stretching these muscles, hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat as needed.
David M. LaPorta, DPM
Location and Office HoursShore Gastroenterology Associates
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West Long Branch, NJ 07764
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Should I stretch after the swelling caused by an ankle sprain decreases?
National Academy of Sports Medicine answered
What causes Achilles tendon problems?
Achilles tendinopathy is most often caused by:
- Overuse or repeated movements during sports, work or other activities. In sports, a change in how long, intensely or often you exercise can cause microtears in the tendon. These tears are unable to heal quickly and will eventually cause pain. A change in your environment, such as going from a flat surface to a hill or from a dirt road to a paved road, can also cause these tears.
- Injury from repeated push-offs or a stop-and-go motion. These injuries are common in such activities as running, basketball, tennis or ballet dancing.
Achilles tendon rupture is most often caused by:
- Sudden, forceful motion that stresses the calf muscle. This can happen during an intense athletic activity or even during simple running or jumping, especially in middle-aged adults. A rupture most often occurs in sports such as basketball, racquet sports (including tennis), soccer and softball.
- Overstretching the tendon during any activity when the tendon is already damaged because of Achilles tendinopathy or another condition.
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How is ankle instability diagnosed?
To diagnose ankle instability, your doctor will ask about previous injuries and look for clues to ankle instability. X-rays are generally taken to assess for any associated bone injury or bone spurs along the front or side of the ankle joint. An MRI may be ordered in certain cases to assess conditions within the joint such as inflammatory soft tissue, loose bodies, cartilage injury (OCD) or associated tears of the peroneal tendons.
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